Antigua and Barbuda: Prime Minister – Gaston Browne will be leading a high-level delegation to attend the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda. The meeting has been scheduled from June 20 to 25, 2022, after being cancelled in June 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the visit, Prime Minister Browne would be accompanied by the EP Chet Greene, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Trade, Maria Bird-Browne, Minister for Housing, Lands and Urban Renewal, Karen-Mae Hill, the High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Ideka Dowe, Political and Trade Attaché at the High Commission.
This year, the theme CHOGM is “Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming,” which will be focusing on the priority areas, such as fairness, prosperity, security and sustainability and will reflect the global challenge to which Commonwealth must adequately respond.
Commonwealth leaders from across 54 Commonwealth countries will come to Rwanda to reaffirm their common values and agree to actions and policies to improve all citizens’ lives. Decisions taken at CHOGM also guide the work programme of the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Additionally, during the formal working sessions of CHOGM, PM Browne will speak on two distinguished panels that will focus on climate change and sustainable economic development. On Wednesday, June 22, the Prime Minister will join a fireside chat during the Commonwealth Business Forum with colleague Prime Minister Phillip Davis of The Bahamas and President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih of the Maldives, to be moderated by Lord Marland, Chair of the Commonwealth Enterprise and the Investment Council. The theme for this session is “Financing the Blue-Green Growth for Sustainable Islands”.
On June 23 (Thursday), the Prime Minister will speak at a high–level panel discussion along with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh, Prime Minister Lee-Hsein Loong of Singapore, Deputy Prime Minister Donald Marles of Australia and the Alok Sharma, the COP26 President. The theme for this discussion is “Keeping 1.5 Alive – The Glasgow Climate Pact and Building Momentum towards COP 27.”
On the margins of CHOGM, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister will meet the leaders of several Commonwealth countries in a series of bilateral meetings between Antigua and Barbuda and the respective countries. These meetings will seek to strengthen bilateral ties and deepen cooperation between a number of countries, including Cyprus, Nigeria, Kenya, Malta, Rwanda, Ghana, Canada and the United Kingdom and Antigua and Barbuda.
Additionally, the Prime Minister will attend two closed executive sessions for Commonwealth Heads of Government on Friday, June 24. In the first of these executive sessions, an election will be held to select the next Secretary-General of the Commonwealth. The candidates are the incumbent Secretary-General, Baroness Patricia Scotland of Dominica; Senator Kamina Johnson-Smith of Jamaica and Sir Iakoba Taeia Italeli of Tuvalu.
Foreign Minister E.P. Chet Greene will also represent Antigua and Barbuda at the Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting (CFAMM) and the Commonwealth Ministerial Meeting for the Small States.
Maria Browne will participate in bilateral meetings. She will also represent Antigua and Barbuda at an important side event on violence against women and girls, as well as lay a wreath at the Kigali Genocide Memorial.
Commonwealth of Nations, an intergovernmental organisation that comprises 54 member nations from Africa, the Caribbean, the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is one of the largest summits for world leaders across the globe. It represents one of the most important fora for the issues of small island developing states to be heard and addressed by the international community. It aims to reinforce multilateral cooperation, explore new opportunities, and tackle common challenges for the well-being of future generations.